The war over purported trademark infringement and counterfeit auto parts has heated up with news that Ottawa-area Kingdom Auto Parts has filed a lawsuit in U. S. court against the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association.
The lawsuit was filed in federal district court in Detroit, Michigan to respond to the September 9, 2008 trade letter issued by Steve Handschuh, president and COO of Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), claiming that the brands of MEMA member companies are “at risk,” due to the alleged conduct of Kingdom Auto Parts.
The suit says that MEMA is wrong to suggest that cross-referencing of manufacturers’ names, brands, and part numbers is an improper practice in the aftermarket for automotive replacement parts. The suit asks the court to declare cross-referencing a “fair use” of trademarks of other companies.
Additionally, the suit presents a business defamation claim against MEMA and Handschuh for false statements of fact contained in the September 9th trade letter.
Kingdom is currently embroiled in separate court battles with Dayco and Tenneco.